We stumbled upon this family-owned place (Mrs. A’s Cupcakes) while looking for a restaurant in Park Ridge, IL. Ian and I were strolling down the street and I was yammering on about something or other, per usual, when we spotted this place. I stopped in my tracks and without another word, wandered into the shop – like a moth to a flame.
A friendly woman and her daughter (I’m assuming) greeted us. Upon their recommendations, we left with a Red Velvet cake pop (ya know, to eat on our way to dinner), a cookie decorated like a pumpkin and of course, cupcakes – Salted Caramel, Choco Banana, Nutella, and Mango Shortcake.
The Salted Caramel consisted of yellow cake with a salted caramel cream cheese buttercream. The cake reminded me of pound cake and was a tad dry. Frosting was decent, but I thought it had more than a “touch of Mediterranean sea salt” – as described on their website.
The Choco Banana left me wanting more chocolate, bananas, and I dunno – chocolate and bananas? It had the same yellow cake as the Salted Caramel. The chocolate frosting was a bit grainy and the only bananas to be found were the dried pieces on top. Meh.
The Nutella held more promise. It consisted of a chocolate cake, which was better than the previous yellow cakes. The top was smeared with a thin layer of Nutella and completed with another layer of Nutella buttercream frosting. Chocolate shavings adorned the top. If someone offered me another one of these, I wouldn’t turn it down.
The Mango Shortcake was the most intriguing of the bunch. The yellow cake was spongy and relatively moist. Between the bottom and rounded top of the cupcake, they slathered a light mango buttercream frosting. The top was sprinkled with powdered sugar. This was the best of them all, besides the cake pop.
This may be blasphemy, but I’ll say it anyway – Red Velvet is one of my least favorite cupcake flavors. Perhaps because I feel it doesn’t commit to a flavor and it requires an unholy amount of red dye to trick us into thinking it’s unique. Srsly, you need a Costco-sized jug of red dye to make these happen. Considering this, I actually enjoyed their Red Velvet cake pop the most of everything. It was fudgy, and had a wonderful cocoa-vanilla flavor. We ate it in the dark so I could ignore the food coloring. That’s how I like to eat a majority of my food, in the dark…without shame.
After dissing Red Velvet cake, I felt the need to read about it on Wikipedia. Hmm.
So yea, this place was alright. I like supporting small businesses.
Be kind to each other.